Salary increases for officials still hot topic

A change in sheriffs and inconsistency in the way Augusta calculates public sector salaries recently made it clear how much, or how little, those in charge make.

No sooner had the ink dried on new Richmond County Sher­iff Richard Roundtree’s request for a salary resembling that of predecessor Ronnie Strength, he was joined by new Solicitor-General Kellie Kenner-McIntyre, who also wanted more than the minimum required under state law.

Augusta Commission members soon realized that they had never approved the similar local “supplement” they had been paying Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick for four years.

Roundtree’s supplement, which raised his salary to $126,500, places him among 13 Augusta-Richmond County employees who earn more than $120,000, four of whom are State Court judges.

Of the city’s about 2,300 full-time personnel, 29 earn more than $100,000. Salaries of administrators, engineering and utilities directors and general counsel are in the $130,000 to $137,000 range.

Not to be left out as salaries were being recalculated, Augusta’s two magistrate and civil court judges and probate judge have asked for a higher local supplement, as did the county clerk of court.

The outcry among most rank-and-file city employees, who have been denied a cost-of-living adjustment for several years and in some cases laid off during restructuring and outsourcing of departments, made granting raises dicey, and the commission declined to support the judges’ requested raises last week.

Returning for commission committee approval Monday, however, is a letter of support for the raises to give to Augusta’s legislative delegation, which will have until March 20 to introduce a local bill raising the officials’ salaries. The delegation did the same for certain local elected officials in 2002 and 2006. It can pass the raises without commission approval, but the extra pay comes from the city’s budget.

Augusta delegation hasn't heard from city about raises
Tax commissioner's supplement, unlike sheriff's, never approved by Augusta Commission
Augusta Commission gives raises to sheriff, solicitor-general
Sheriff, solicitor salary supplements return for commission review
Sheriff, solicitor still seeking salary supplements
Augusta Commission denies salary supplements for sheriff, state court solicitor
WHAT THEY EARN

A survey of salaries paid to high-profile public officials:

NameTitleSalary
Ricardo AzzizGeorgia Regents University president$636,000
Charles NagleColumbia County Schools superintendent$206,452
J. Carlisle OverstreetAugusta Circuit Chief Superior Court judge$187,352
Frank RobersonRichmond County Schools superintendent$170,000
Terry ElamAugusta Technical College president$164,928
Gary LeTellierAugusta Regional Airport executive director$150,000
Ashley WrightAugusta Circuit district attorney$146,700
Fred RussellAugusta city administrator$136,859
Andrew MacKenzieAugusta general counsel$136,859
Kay AllenColumbia County tax commissioner$135,597
Clay WhittleColumbia County sheriff$135,760
Elaine JohnsonRichmond County clerk of Superior Court$130,915
Richard RoundtreeRichmond County sheriff$126,500
Scott JohnsonColumbia County administrator$126,000
Dayton SherrouseAugusta Canal Authority executive director$116,000
Steven KendrickRichmond County tax commissioner$114,524
Chris JamesAugusta fire chief$110,000
Harry JamesRichmond County probate judge$109,506
Kellie Kenner-McIntyreRichmond County solicitor-general$106,700
Margaret WoodardAugusta Downtown Development Authority executive director$85,000.24
Deke CopenhaverAugusta mayor$75,844.86

Sources: Augusta and Columbia County human resources; Richmond and Columbia county schools; State of Georgia, courts officials

More

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 18:10

House passes bill providing limited repair to New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam that allows fish migration

The U.S. House of Representatives appeared to dash the hopes of local landowners hoping to save and repair the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam by passing a bill that provides for only limited repair that allows fish migration.

Read more